Autumn Lights Benefits the Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt
Proceeds will fund improvements at the gardens including construction of two new landscaped gates and entry plazas on Bellevue Avenue.
Imagine yourself immersed in acres of lush gardens illuminated with mesmerizing, larger-than-life art and lighting installations created by Bay Area artists, situated in the gardens of Lakeside Park on the shores of Oakland’s shimmering Lake Merritt. The festive evenings blend live music, art, fire dancers, food and libations to make one unforgettable experience. This wildly popular annual tradition benefiting the Gardens at Lake Merritt is easy to get to and fun for all ages.
These enchanted, slightly surreal sights and sounds ─ brilliantly and harmoniously realized in a one-of-a-kind setting ─ epitomize the annual Autumn Lights Festival in the Gardens at Lake Merritt. Like thousands of other attendees, Jon Carroll took a few hours on an October evening to see Oakland in a new light and told the world what he saw.
“…I walked among the dimly lit oaks with distant music drifting in the air. I thought how very much I liked the Oakland that was being created before my eyes. The event was multiracial and free-spirited; the sculpture sang in the balmy night.”
Jon Carroll, “Magic is all over — just look” San Francisco Chronicle, 21 October, 2014
In 2018, the festival welcomed over 16,000 people of all ages who strolled through the Gardens at night, and marveled at the mesmerizing illuminated installations crafted by dozens of local artists.
in 2016, the East Bay Express honored Autumn Lights as the “Most ‘Lit’ Festival” in its Best of the East Bay 2016 edition.